tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN July 19, 2013 9:00pm-10:01pm PDT
here's the thing, if another person says something stupid to me, get ready, because something stupid is coming tonight still talking about. my one-on-one with the star witness on the george zimmerman trial. rachel jeantel. >> are you listening? i had told you i'm listening. >> that's all you know about her, you've got to see this. what is your view of george zimmerman? >> weak. scary. >> rachel jeantel answers every
question i put to her. even answers questions from the studio audience. >> do you feel your testimony strongly impacted the case at all? >> yes. >> in a negative way? >> no. why she kept it so honest. >> rachel jeantel in her own words. this is piers morgan live. [ applause ] >> a young woman who was on the phone with trayvon martin moments before he died, this is rachel jeantel's first interview since she testified in the trial and she joins me now exclusively along with her attorney. rachel, welcome to you. >> hi, how are you? >> you're famous now. everybody watched your testimony and saw somebody who looked like they really didn't want to be there but also suffering from the fact that you lost your great friend, trayvon. >> yes. >> tell me, first of all, your reaction to the fact that george
zimmerman was acquitted. >> disappointed, upset, angry, questioned and mad. >> the jury decided after a long deliberation that the prosecution hadn't proved the case. they believed it was trayvon on top of george zimmerman, that it was george zimmerman's voice on the tape calling out for help and therefore, they concluded he had acted in self-defense. what do you say to that? >> b.s. just b.s. >> in your heart, what do you believe happened? >> he was trying to get home and he was, and that's a fact. >> and you know that because you were talking to him? >> yes, sir. >> one thing we didn't get in this trial, rachel, was a real sense of what trayvon martin was
really like. nobody knew him better than you. how often would you talk to trayvon? >> all day. >> all day long. >> yeah. >> you were telling me earlier you had phone records where it was literally all day. >> they showed me phone records and i had to say wow. >> all day long you were on your blue tooth just talking to trayvon. >> i had three blue tooths. >> what kind of guy was he? >> he was a calm, chill, loving person who loves his family, definitely his mother and a good friend. >> what would you talk about? >> really what we going to be in life, how life going to happen, what's going on currently around that time, and mind you around that time, it was both of our birthday had passed, so we was
talking about what happened and that. >> he was a good friend to you? >> yes. >> a kind friend? >> yes. >> was he ever aggressive? >> no. >> did you ever see him aggressive? >> no. >> did he ever lose his temper? >> no. >> he really was a calm guy? >> yes. >> so when people have tried to paint a picture of a young thug because he was in a hoodie and was walking home -- >> first of all, trayvon is not a thug. they need to know a definition of a thug. to be judging a person or a teenager, mind you a teenager, to post anything, even i post anything to just brag. >> you mean the stuff on social media. >> yeah, that's just brag. it's not true. >> again, they tried to paint a picture of somebody interested
in guns, took a lot of drugs. let's get to the truth about that. did he ever talk to you about guns? >> no. >> did you ever see him with a gun? >> no. >> what about drugs? >> drugs. okay. weed, you saying marijuana? >> uh-huh. >> in my area we say weed. my area, weed for trayvon, i can explain one thing. weed don't do -- ever him go crazy. it just make him go hungry. [ laughter ] >> that's the best thing i can say. it make him go hungry. >> did he take a lot of weed? >> no. >> how much would you say? >> like twice a week. >> twice a week. >> yes. >> is that normal for teenagers in your community? >> yes, real normal. >> you would do the same?
>> no, because -- no. >> you don't take it? >> no. >> you knew trayvon, we know s there was evidence of that in his blood. >> yes. >> what the defense again tried to paint a picture of is somebody who because of the drug use that would ever him more violent. >> no, that -- like i said, that's b.s. that's just their opinions. that's the problem in this case. that was their opinion. >> do you think they understood the world that you and trayvon come from? >> no. >> don west gave you a very hard time, the defense attorney. >> don west. >> what is your -- >> don west. >> what is your view of him? >> uh-uh, uh-uh, uh-uh. all i have to say, he lucky i'm
a christian. >> i want to go on to one thing before i go to don west. a lot of people mocked you or called you-all sorts of things on twitter. i came to your defense at one point because i called it so disgusting. they called you stupid. they were very racist to you. >> uh-huh. >> but they mocked you for the way that you spoke. >> okay. >> explain to me the background to that. >> the way i speak. people -- a lot of people have the same issue i have right now. okay. how i can say this? i had a situation since kindergarten you could figure out how i speak. i have an under bite -- >> dental condition for your teeth -- >> no, a bone. they got pushed back. >> you had to have surgery for it? >> yeah, i had to have surgery
to push it back, and right now i don't want to do it because it take a year to heal, and then a lot of people have that situation. words i can say, it can't come out right, but -- >> have you been bullied for that before? >> look at me, no, no, no. uh-uh. [ laughter ] >> so you seem to be a very different character tonight to the one we saw in court. you look like you didn't want to be there. is that how you felt? >> it's not that, i didn't want to be there. it's a lot of stress. i was dealing with a lot of stress for 16 months, i think. >> and you were grieving a
friend. >> i was grieving. and i had to do around february, my birthday, his birthday, now death, my mother birthday, his mother birthday. there is a lot of birthdays up in there. that creep me out. i don't -- don't do this at all. i haven't told my parents, i'm not going to they funeral. i'm not doing none of that. i don't like funerals. >> for those who just don't know, what effect did it have on you, trayvon's death, particularly the shocking fact that you were the last person he was talking to? >> shock. it's just shock. it's just like wow. you can't believe like you can't believe what just happened.
you were just on a minute on the phone with the person and he sound normal and then a situation happened, and then i'm finding out two days later, he dead, and then i have to be by a friend telling me, oh, do you know he died at 7:17? and i had to look at my phone, my phone say 7:16, and people got the nerve to tell me, oh, why i ain't come to the funeral. i didn't put trayvon at that funeral. i didn't put trayvon in that casket. that's what people need to understand. i did not plan for that week to be at a funeral. that day i was so shaken, like, wow, this really happening? he really dead?
>> do you miss him? >> well, yes. he is a funny person, and the area that i raised was -- no, the area that i currently stay at, the whole area miss him. that's where he hang out with. that's his friends, all that, you know. >> the jurors who was interviewed tonight by anderson cooper for cnn said she felt sorry for you, but she also said this, let's watch the clip. >> i want to ask you about some of the different witnesses, rachel jeantel, the woman who was on the phone with trayvon martin at the start of the incident, what did you ever of -- make of her testimony? >> i didn't think it was very credible, but i felt very sorry for her.
she didn't ask to be in this place. she wanted to go. she wanted to leave. she didn't want to be any part of this jury. i think she felt inadequate toward everyone because of her education and her communication skills. i just felt sadness for her. >> you're uneducated, you have no communication skills. what do you feel about what that juror said about you? >> angry. upset. and then the closing, when the state closed, they trying to explain what kind of person i am, and you can see the kind of person i am. i never -- out of the whole stand i never cussed out don.
even during our little back since march i've been dealing with don west. >> don west. you saw him here in the cnn. >> yeah, yeah, yeah. >> what did it make you feel to see him again? >> i'll hold it back. the only reason i have not said nothing to don westin because my parent taught me better. that's an adult. you don't have the right to disrespect an adult. don't curse. okay, i did give attitude, but, you know -- >> i liked your altitude. when we come back, we'll talk about a particular moment and it was discussed again with anderson and the juror tonight. the moment when we had this reference to creepy ass cracka because that became a very famous phrase and i want to get from you exactly what it means.
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[ applause ] right now more of my exclusive with the star witness in the george zimmerman trial. trayvon martin's friend rachel jeantel. lots of tweets pouring in here, you can tweet me @piersmorgan. very proud of rachel right now, dignity and grace. a lot of people saying that tonight. they're seeing a different rachel than in the courtroom under the stress and tension. i want to talk to you more about trayvon, but first of all, i want to play a clip from anderson cooper's interview with the juror, the first juror to speak out. let's watch this. >> a lot of times she was using phrases i have never heard before, and what they meant. >> when she used the phrase creepy ass cracka, what did you think of that? >> i thought it was probably the truth. i think trayvon probably said that. >> and did you see that as a negative statement or a racial statement as the defense
suggested? >> i don't think it's really racial. i think it's everyday life. the type of life that they live, and how they're living, in the environment that they're living in. >> what's your reaction to that. >> well, the jury, they see their fact. no offense to the jury, they old, that's old school people. we in a new school, our generation, my generation. [ applause ] so -- >> let's talk about creepy ass cracka. people have said that that is a phrase used by black people, cracka, to describe a white person. is that true? >> no. like i said -- >> how do you spell it first of all? >> cracka. >> there's no e-r?
>> yeah, it's an a at the end. >> c-r-a-c-k-a? >> yes, people acting like they're police. like a secured guard who acting like -- that's why i said to them trayvon said creepy ass cracka. he told me the man was still watching him. so if it was a security guard or policeman, they would come up to trayvon and say, do you need -- do you have a problem, do you need help? you know, like normal people. >> and if george zimmerman had done that, if he introduced himself as a neighborhood watch patrolman, even though he was offduty, if he had done that, what would trayvon have said to him do you think? >> no, i'm just trying to get home, i'm waiting for the rain to slow down so i can catch the game, the all-star game. >> that's all that he wanted to do? >> yes. >> they implied trayvon was looking suspicious. forge zimmerman thought trayvon was walking around looking at
houses in a suspicious way. >> trust me, no. first of all, trayvon lazy. sorry, no. he lazy as hell. sorry, but no. >> did he ever show interest in burglaring houses? >> what was he going to burglar for? so why he want to burglary far? he don't live there, he don't know nobody there. he only know his brother or his step brother and his father and his father's girlfriend. >> when you heard the tape of george zimmerman saying these a-holes, these f-ing punks are always getting away with it, before he has the confrontation with trayvon, what did you think was going through george zimmerman's mind when he said that? >> i'm finally going to get one, that night. >> and be honest with me, rachel, do you think that that was racially motivated or more a case of somebody he thought was
a young thug, black or white? >> it was racial. let's be honest, racial. if trayvon was white and he had a hoodie on, would that happen? because i ask you, that was around 7:00 or something. that's around the time people walk their dogs, people stand outside, all that. >> the jury, the juror tonight made it clear that the jury never really discussed race as being a motivating factor. >> i imagine, they're white. well, one hispanic lady. but she stuck in the middle. >> five white women on the jury and one hispanic. >> yeah. i had a feeling it was going to be not guilty. >> because of the makeup of the jury? do you think it was wrong they didn't have any black people on the jury? >> no, not that.
they don't understand -- they understand he was just bashed or somebody was killed. when someone bashes -- that's not called bashing, that's whoop ass. you just got your ass whooped. that's what it is. >> would trayvon if he were attacked or confronted and he was scared, would he have whooped ass as you put it? >> whoop ass >> would he have defended himself if he had been in that position? >> yes, in my mind, in reality, trayvon, before his death, he thought i was still on the phone, i could have called out for help or something. but i wasn't on the phone. the struggle -- trayvon have an android. if you click on the android, it can end the call. there was a struggle, so
somebody had to be on top of trayvon. >> you felt that there was no doubt in your mind from what trayvon was telling you on the phone about the creepy ass cracka and so on, that he absolutely believed george zimmerman, this man was pursuing him? >> yes. >> and he was freaked out by it? >> yes. definitely after i say he may be a rapist, for every boy, every man who's not that kind of way, seeing a grown man following them, would they be creeped out? so you have to take it -- as a parent, when you tell your child, you see a grown person following you, run away, and all that. was you going to stand there? you going to tell your child stand there?
if you tell your child stand there, we're going to see your child on the news for missing person. [ applause ] >> let's take another break. i want to come back and talk to you about this photograph. this is of don west, the defense attorney's daughter that she posted after your testimony. which contained a very derogatory remark. and they later apologized, we'll be back to discuss this after the break. [ applause ] [ male announcer ] this is george.
exclusive interview with the star witness from the george zimmerman trial, trayvon martin's friend, rachel jeantel. there was a moment after your evidence, molly west, the daughter of your friend don west, she posted a picture of herself eating an ice cream cone with some friends. and had the following caption with it, we beat stupidity celebration cones. and three hash tags, zimmerman, defense and dad killed it. what is your reaction? when you realized what she had done? >> look at the picture. it's blonde female. mind you, where we live, where everybody live, blondes say dumb things. they're dumb. they say dumb things. that's some dumb blondes. i really don't care. to me, i won. he could have won by law trying to act like a -- no offense, a jackass.
but that's him doing his job. he got to get that check. it's all about the check. >> i have a question from the member of the audience. tasha brimfield has this question for you. >> hi rachel. >> first, i wanted to say thank you so much for sharing your courage and your spirit with everybody in the world after such a controversial testimony. do you feel that your testimony strongly impacted the case at all? >> yes. >> in a negative way? >> no. it might have said, why's her education? or why she kept it so honest? but people -- too honest, you can't be too honest, you can't
say cracka [ bleep ], all this, the jury's so shocked what i said. and they're acting like the generation we got now don't say that. >> people, a lot of people just -- like that juror, didn't believe you for whatever reason. are you an honest person by nature? >> yes. no, i be lying saying -- but by law, yes. >> when it came to giving your evidence? >> yes. >> in a serious trial? >> yes. >> you took that seriously? >> yes, because mind you, who want to be in a murder case? and who want to start a murder case? you think i would make all that up to be in a murder case? never knew it was going to be nationwide. so why make that up, deal with the b.s. to get to the trial,
why make that up? tell me, because i ain't get no money out of this, mind you, my mommy and daddy paying my bills, ain't nobody else. >> what is your view of george zimmerman? >> weak, scary, hiding from his father. >> why do you say that? >> if you were a real man, you would have stand on that stage and tell what happened. >> give evidence, you mean? >> yes. i understand what don's trying to say, oh, i switched it around. mind you, you keep going at me, every once in a while i have an interview. i quit after the state interviewed me, that's it. but mind you, i'm a teenager. >> was there anything you wished you had said when you finished and went home and saw the reaction, everyone giving you a hard time. was there anything you wished you had said when you were in
there? [ expletive ] >> why? >> the whole world say it's a racist word. mind you, around 2000, that was not, they changed it around i think. they started spelling it n-i-g-g-a. >> what does that mean to you, that way of spelling it? what does that word mean to you? >> that mean a male. >> a black male? >> no, any kind of male. >> black or white? >> chinese could say it. that's my chino. they could say that. >> and rappers use it in the music? that's what they mean? >> yes. but plet [ bleep ] i advise you not to be by black people because that's a racist word.
>> they have two different meanings in your community? >> no. in a generation. >> to young people, >> how would you like trayvon to be remembered. the picture that's being built now because of the acquittal of george zimmerman, is that trayvon martin was a young thug who had it coming to him, because he jumped george zimmerman, punched him in the face, got his head, smashed it into the concrete repeatedly, and was going to kill him. that's why george zimmerman pulled out a gun and shot him. >> that's called dramatic. that's really called acting like a punk. be honest. >> did trayvon have that in him? >> no. no. trayvon was too quiet. and why's trayvon going to run if he wanted to confront him, beat him? why would he run?
and people need to understand, he didn't want that creepy ass cracka going to his father or girlfriend's house to go get -- mind you, his little brother is there. mind you i told you, i told trayvon, might have been a rapist. parents need to stop acting dumb. if you going to tell your child whether you see a stranger, you tell your child one thing, run away, trying to find somebody, that's not what trayvon was doing? so why, so why the jury, they're all parents -- some of them are parents, they be telling their child that. child that? you tell me you're going to tell your child to stand there? no. >> let me ask rod, your attorney. i haven't come to you, because it's compelling to talk to
rachel and learn what she's really like. a different person to the one we saw in court in many ways. do you think that she got an unfairly hard time in terms of the reaction to the evidence that she gave? >> i believe she did. i think don west was very aggressive toward her in the courtroom. to the point where the judge had to back him up off her and tell him to lower his voice and not yell at her. she received backlash in the community. i was disappointed she received such a backlash in the black community. i read some things that some of the adults had written about her, some of the adults had said about her, which i found disturbing. and that is one of the reasons why i've taken her under my arm and really protected her from what has been happening in the media. and let me just say this, piers, for every negative thing that was said about her. i have received letters, e-mails, text messages, phone calls from a number of individuals from all races, black, white, hispanic, they have written letters saying, we support her, we appreciate the
courage and dignity that she had to be able to walk in that courtroom as a teenager and subject herself to the cross-examination of an attorney who's been practicing longer than she's been living. and that was admirable on her part. >> it was. and rachel, it's been admirable for you to come in here, go through another ordeal. appearing on live television. i know you haven't done this before, i've learned a lot before you and trayvon than i knew before, and it's been fascinating. thank you for coming in and talking to me. [ applause ] coming up next, a man who defended casey anthony. this case is not about race. i want to know if he thinks george zimmerman was overcharged. [ applause ] anyone have occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating? yes! one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues with three strains of good bacteria. live the regular life.
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was this case more about race than law? anderson cooper spoke with one juror who said she and her fellow jurors never discussed race. >> you don't think race played a role in this case? >> i don't think it did. i think if there was another person, spanish, white, asian, if they came in the same situation where trayvon was, i think george would have reacted the same way. >> joining me now is cheney mason, he defended casey anthony. just got to ask you quickly,
your reaction to the rachel jeantel interview there. what did you make of the rachel jeantel interview there? >> i couldn't hear your question. you cut off. >> did you hear the interview i did with rachel jeantel? trayvon martin's friend there. >> yeah, i saw part of it. we were late getting here. >> she portrayed a very different kind of trayvon martin to the one that we had been led to believe by the defense. do you think this -- justice has been done here? >> well, i think that she clearly could have done a better job testifying if she had been properly prepared by the lawyers, given an opportunity to. she clearly was a controversial witness that didn't mean she wasn't telling the truth. and i'm sure it's a foreign environment for her, she didn't want to be there, as i understand it, and she was attacked, you know in the lawyer manner. but i'll repeat, it doesn't mean
she wasn't telling the truth one thing i did hear, piers, people worrying about this comment about him being a cracka. let me tell you, i'm a cracka, been one for 70 years. in florida a cracker means -- listen a cracka to us means a person who was born here, we're native to florida. there's very few of us florida cracka's. less than 30% of the population. thank you very much. it has nothing to do with race. >> let me ask you about the verdict itself, because we talked a lot about it before. and i think you were edging at one stage in your mind, you were thinking manslaughter may be the outcome, but it wasn't. we saw a fascinating insight into the jurors' minds that three of them believed that he was not guilty at the start. two thought he was guilty of manslaughter, one of second degree murder. they all came around to an acquittal. what do you make of that? >> normal sob. that's the way jury deliberations go.
as you know, i've been trying criminal cases for 40 years, they never start off exactly one way. they're an intelligent individual people, they refute the evidence and they think what they think, and they listen to each other. that's the beauty of our jury system. i mean, it's remarkable how a group of strangers can be put together and come to an answer. i can tell you, even all those cases i have lost, i've always believed that juries get the right result, though they may get there from some of the most convoluted routes that we would never expect, but they do. i would expect people saying, okay, i feel this, i feel that, and they talk about it, that's why these jurors spent almost 16 hours? that's a long time to talk about a case -- as simple as this one. >> they insisted that race played no part really in their deliberations at all. they ruled it out quickly as being a factor here.
rachel jeantel felt very strongly that was not the case. that trayvon martin was profiled because he was a young black teenager in a hoodie. do you think race was a subliminal presence here, and how much was the jury affected by the fact that they were effectively an all-white jury? >> what i know, piers, we don't know what somebody else thinks. we don't know what's in the mind of a young black man or a white person, unless you are one. all we can go on is the evidence. i did not see or hear any evidence in this case that was racial. what i did sees was the outside atmosphere and the media stirring of the issue has been racial from day one, from altering the 911 tape to make it look like mr. zimmerman said he was black, when that's not what he said. and then the continued talking heads, people polarizing based
on race. and what we've seen around the country. to me, that's nothing short of a shame. it's not a black community or a white community. it's our community. it's 2013. it's time we get over this. let's start dealing with the facts. you go in a courtroom, we have facts and evidence. there are no facts in this case to suggest racial anything. >> cheney mason, stay with me. we're going to take a short break, we're going to come back, and i'll bring in some people with strong opinions on this case. jeffrey toobin, charles blow, many more questions for them and from our studio audience. [ applause ] ♪ you're not made of money,
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saving time by booking an appointment online, even smarter. online scheduling. available now at meineke.com. three not guilties, one second degree murder as two manslaughters. >> half the jury felt he was not guilty, two manslaughters and one second degree? >> exactly. >> anderson's interview tonight with one of the jurors. your reaction to rachel jeantel,
it was gasping watching. >> if that went on for five more minutes, she would have her own show. i just thought it was so fascinating. she's such a big personality. it's just a good idea about how courtrooms don't give you the full picture. i don't know if all that relevant but as a journalist it was fascinating. >> what was fascinating to me was she took on the weed issue. she said trayvon used to used weed and it gave him the munchies, never made him aggressive. if she was more like that on the stand, could it have made it difference? >> i think it could have made a difference. here she was blatantly honest,
painfully honest in some cases. talking about the use of racial slurs, very open about his use of drugs. to me as somebody watching, i'm a journalist. i'm constantly watching if i can pick up where people may be holding back on something, may be lying. i didn't get that sense. her attorney sat right here with her, didn't interject. see just said whatever is on her mind. that leads me to believe that a person is credible. the second thing is, you know, what it points to about credibility and what the juror said earlier this evening is about how homogeny a jury pool can be -- >> well, one woman is hispanic but certainly no african-american is on that panel. that has to come into play.
>> if you don't even register that you have a racial issue in front of you, it's a racial problem. >> judge hatchett, we saw the make-up of the jury start to finish. does that surprise you? i respect the jury's decision completely, that is the justice system and i believe they operated to what they thought was the interpretation of the law of self-defense. is it the law that's the problem? >> the law is the problem because the aggressor can then claim self-defense if the situation changes. and obviously, piers, that's exactly what this jury ended up believing. but the diversity situation, we're talking about a county 80% white, maybe 11% african-american. so it did not surprise me we didn't have the level of diversity on this jury that i
would have liked to have seen. i do think that that voice and that culture and that perspective of a diverse panel of all kind of diversity is very important in any jury deliberation and it's even minimized when you have a six-member jury. >> let me go to you, you're a jury expert. there was a complete disconnect between her world and therefore trayvon martin's world and that is where i think the make-up of the jury became really significant. just different worlds, different language, don't really understand each other. >> well, absolutely. and i think it remarkable that b-37 actually mentioned that she said she felt sorry for her but she felt that she was telling the truth in her own way. and i think very clearly these women looked very carefully through each one of these witnesses and evaluated them based upon, again, their on life experiences.
>> let me just great quick question here from arianna. >> do you think florida or any other states will be making changes or modifications to the current stand your ground law? >> are we going to have a change to -- although stand your ground isn't used in all state, it's prevalent in many states in america. many people think it got to go. >> yes, i'm sure it will be ripe for discussion on the legislate of floor. if nothing else, piers, this case has sparked a conversation of legitimate grievances that have to be dealt with, not just in the legislature. they need to be dealt with and in our homes we need to be talking to our kids about them early on so we don't have these tensions and we have understanding and tolerance. >> the republicans who took over so many states in 2010, they support stand your ground, they support gun rights. so as long as they are in charge
>> that's an interesting name. he was born a prince but good new president obama had yet to add his voice and now has making a surprise appearance in the press tells white house press room. >> when trayvon martin was first shot, i said that this could have been my son. another way of saying that is trayvon martin could have been me. 35 years ago. and when you think about why in the african-american